To ensure a steady supply of wood for Metsä Group's bioproduct mill, we are establishing 10–15 terminals from which wood will be transported to the mill. The terminals are part of the necessary arrangements aimed at ensuring an uninterrupted wood supply.
When the time comes for the bioproduct mill to operate at full capacity, it will use 6.5 million cubic metres of pulpwood and woodchip a year. Approximately 1.5 million cubic metres of the raw material will be transported to the mill by rail. Given the vast amount of raw material, many things in transport control must be done differently than they are done at Metsä Fibre's current Äänekoski Mill.
“For the wood supply to function smoothly and efficiently, the road and rail transport will be carefully intertwined. When the rubber tyre traffic inevitably slows down during the weekends, we'll need more wood to come in by rail,” says Peter Pekkola, Transport Manager of Metsä Forest.
The cramped site of the bioproduct mill will not have as much storage space for wood as the current mill. Space is also needed for woodchip storage.
“We'll be drawing up a detailed scheduling system for lorry transport. Because wood arriving directly from the forest cannot be delivered to the mill at precise times, some of the wood will be transported to intermediate storage facilities. Terminals located within a radius of 100–150 kilometres will function as buffers, ensuring that there is always an adequate supply of wood ready to be transported to the mill.”
We'll be drawing up a detailed scheduling system for lorry transport.
Terminal use becoming more widespread
Metsä Group already employs numerous terminals of different sizes for the intermediate storage of wood across the country. So, in this sense, we are not talking about a new operating method. The existing terminals are located in the immediate vicinity of our own production units and the loading sites for wood transported by rail, for example. According to Pekkola, the use of intermediate storage has increased particularly due to mild winters, when wood is transported out of the forest in anticipation of frost heaving.
“The terminal areas of 1–2 hectares procured for the purposes of the bioproduct mill do not constitute special units or closed-off areas of any kind. A wood terminal doesn't even need to be asphalted,” says Pekkola. “What is important is that the terminal's soil can bear the loads throughout the year. Naturally, the transport connections also need to be the kind that allow easy transportation of wood to the terminal and further on to the bioproduct mill.”
According to Pekkola, the intention is to establish the terminals at existing storage locations.
“When establishing the new terminals, we'll be paying special attention to the environment – they cannot be located in groundwater basins or near human settlements. Nor will they be located in the vicinity of coniferous forests, in accordance with the legislation to prevent damage to forests by insects.”
When establishing the new terminals, we'll be paying special attention to the environment.